IGDA Foundation

IGDA & IGDA Foundation – What’s the difference?

While the IGDA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit professional association, we are directly associated with the IGDA Foundation – a separate entity organized as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving underrepresented and marginalized game developers all over the world through professional development programs, mentorships, scholarships, and game jams. Additionally, the IGDA Foundation provides opportunities to marginalized game developers in all stages of their careers, focusing on building leadership skills in addition to technical proficiency.

Key Differences between the IGDA & IGDA Foundation

IGDA and IGDA Foundation


  • Member-based professional association for all game developers around the world
  • Provides access to global and regional communities and networks of developers
  • Provides member-only content, benefits, and resources
  • Facilitates the Global Mentorship Program pairing mentors and mentees from around the world to support career development and advancement
  • Coordinates yearly events such as PathfindinGS, IGDA Booth at GDC and Gamescom, Global Industry Game Awards, and more
  • Publishes the Developer Satisfaction Survey as well as other industry reports, best practices, and white papers
  • If you are trying to reach a team member at the IGDA for questions about membership, sponsoring an event, joining as an IGDA Studio Affiliate, offering or promoting a member-benefit, or other matter, you may contact the IGDA at contact@igda.org.

IGDA Foundation

  • Coordinates IGDA Foundation Virtual Exchange
  • Focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in game development
  • Supports program alumni with workshops and webinars
  • Hosts bi-annual events introducing aspiring game developers to the industry
  • If you are looking to reach the IGDA Foundation, such as for questions about IGDA Foundation scholarship programs or virtual exchange programs, please visit https://igdafoundation.org/.

Both organizations work collaboratively to support game developers and improve the industry on various accounts, including:

  • Increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness across the industry
  • Providing opportunities and resources for developers to learn, grow, and thrive
  • Connecting developers to one another for mentorship and networking, and more

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What programs do IGDA and IGDA Foundation coordinate?
    • The IGDA is a member-based organization, and many of its members are organized around communities called Chapters (regional communities) and Special Interest Groups (global communities). These groups are led by a small team of volunteers that often facilitate events around the world including regular meet ups, webinars, panels, game jams, career fairs, and more. Additionally, the IGDA Headquarters organizes several events throughout the year to help bring communities of game developers together, including hosting IGDA booths at select industry events like GDC and Gamescom, coordinating the Global Industry Game Awards, and hosting PathfindinGS to showcase developers from the global south.
    • The IGDA Foundation hosts the Virtual Exchange programs that supports international participants, HBCU & HSI students, Velocity cohorts, and Next Gen Leaders. They also organize the GDC Exchange Program. More information about IGDA Foundation programs can be found on their website.
  • Who leads the IGDA and IGDA Foundation?

    • The current Executive Director of the IGDA Foundation is Alyssa Walles.